I'm no good at the girl stuff.
November 29, 2011 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find some great small gifts for my much-loved friends? My 4 pals and I get together every month for drinks, dinner, and friend-talk. Christmas is always a special gathering, with small gifts all around. I never feel like I hit the gifts right...they like jewelry, clothes, accessories etc., and they're all very crafty. I just don't have the eye for that stuff, but I love 'em dearly. $15-ish budget a piece.

These women always show up for our dinners nicely dressed, and all accessorized. I've never been that type...I lean more to books, art, etc. They like clothes, jewelry, cute little purses...that kind of stuff. Got any good sources for inexpensive but good gifts for my dear friends?
posted by Gusaroo to Shopping (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Metafilter's own users have one option for you. (As recently promoted on MetaTalk)
posted by Wretch729 at 6:53 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sephora has a four pack of matching Philosophy body wash and lip glosses for $36. You could pick the scents that would best suit each friend (keeping the 4th?) and then still have a little bit more to find something lovely, like a four pack of Godiva truffles or a small bottle of sparkling wine (or both) to make a tiny little pamper pack.
posted by librarianamy at 6:58 PM on November 29, 2011

If one of the things you admire about them is that they have an eye for fashion that you envy, then don't try to gift them jewelry. You LIKE that they have greate taste that you can't replicate, so don't kill yourself trying to do just that!

If you're all good friends, obviously there are things about you that they admire greatly. They probably love that you're well-read and value having access to your taste in art. Why not use your superior knowledge of books to gift them a book especially pertinent to them, perhaps with a handmade and personalized bookmark? Or, Etsy has a bunch of great prints in the $15 range -- especially useful if you've paid any attention to their decor and know what colors they like to see around them. Admittedly you have to sort through a lot of horrible shit. Try the "illustration" category, I've found it to be less saturated in junk than many of the others.

I would never dream of gifting my physicist sister with anything to do with physics. I will get it wrong, because that is a subject she knows faaaaaaaar more than me about. But I grok her aesthetic and know just what the empty spot on the wall beside her desk could use. :-)
posted by kitarra at 7:00 PM on November 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

Do you have a Trade Aid shop or similar near you? I don't even know what the USA equivalents are, but there must be one. It's a shop that sells goods made by people in developing countries and they promise they give them fair prices. Often it's kind of junky trinkets, but there are always nice little pouches or bags of some sort, definitely will be some in your price range, and if you leave the tags on, your friends will at least feel some good was done in the world in their name, even if the gift ends up not being to their taste.
posted by lollusc at 7:01 PM on November 29, 2011

If they all enjoy "drinks", sometimes I've bought my girlfriends or a hostess a little "split" bottle of champagne as a token or a thank you, with a fun twisty straw tied onto it with a nice ribbon. Moet & Chandon should fall within your budget, including the straw. Or, this Piper-Heidsieck comes in a 4-pack, if you can find it. It's my favourite.
posted by peagood at 7:19 PM on November 29, 2011

A selection of tasty craft beers. Source: your local bottle shop.
Bonus - nifty bottle openers.

Cool mini tools are cheap and useful.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:20 PM on November 29, 2011

Lee Valley is one of my favorite webites to order gifts from.

If they decorate their houses for the holidays then decorations can be a nice present also.
posted by dawkins_7 at 7:33 PM on November 29, 2011

Hibiscus Flower hand lotion and lip balm 19.00

Sugar Plum Frost Duo 18.00

Pacifica Take Me There Set 18.00

Marshmallows for Toasting Trio 22.00

Pashmina Shawl Originally 25.00, on sale for 6.99

Stoneware or porcelain bread baskets are a nice treat. Here is one for 20.99 Promo code for 25% off if you purchase 50 bucks worth and free shipping on website. Here's one for 16.99. White They are more expensive elsewhere.

posted by Fairchild at 7:39 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I really agree with kitarra -- don't try to 'be them'. If you give them things that are 'all them' and not at all 'you', then they won't feel as personal to you or to the receiver. The best gifts have a little bit of the giver and the receiver in them.

Years ago, a friend of mine who loves photography gave me a simple framed photo of a local spot I loved and that we had visited together a couple times. It was awesome because I loved the thing itself and because the gift was so her.

If you're an art lover, how about picking out prints of art that remind you of your friends in some way? Perhaps one friend loves Paris, one loves cooking, one loves Chanel and one loves gardening -- there are about a billion and one possible options for each of those.

Also, I don't know if they're into Fashion with a capital F or just clothes/shopping in general, but check out the Costume Institute page from the Met store if they're into the couture-y stuff. A bunch of these things are kinda pricey, but it might give you some ideas.

Have fun! I hope you'll let us know what you end up doing.
posted by imalaowai at 11:12 PM on November 29, 2011

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